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Judaea Year 3 Shekel


AR Shekel. Year 3 (68/9 C.E.). Judaea, First Jewish War. 66-70 C.E. (22 mm, 14.22 g, 12'). O: 'Shekel of Israel', Omer cup with pearled rim; date above; AJC II p. 261, 18a; Meshorer 202; Hendin 662. R: 'Jerusalem the Holy', pomegranate sprig with three fruits. G: "Darkly toned, superb EF. Other than a minor planchet flaw on the obverse, absolutely pristine surfaces, and by far much superior to the four examples in the Bromberg Collection." From the Arthur J. Frank Collection. Ex Superior (30 May-1 June 1980), 2265. S: Sayles & Lavender Vcoins 9/12/08 The Omer is a sacrifice of fresh fruits as specified in Leviticus 2:9-11. The cup itself is the golden vessel that contained the Omer and was used on the second day of Passover when a measure of barley, a tenth of an epah, equal to one and a half pints of fine flour, was offered to the Temple as the fresh fruits of the field. The waving of the cup in different directions during the offering corresponded to the waving of the lulav. The addition of the pomegranate for the reverse design served as a symbol with a variety of interpretations. One belief was that by eating it your merits would will increase by the number of seeds in the fruit. Another belief was that there were 613 seeds in the fruit, thus equating it with the number of commandments in the Torah.

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Thanks. It's hard to find these well struck, well centered, and of good metal. This example could be faulted for the slight flatness of the strike on the pearls of the Omer cup, but the lettering is exceptionally clear and the toning is unusually attractive. It's also nice, from an historic perspective, to have one of these which straddles the end of Nero's reign and the year of the 4 Emperors. -h
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